AirFi, the world’s smallest and portable in-flight entertainment (IFE) system, is set to bring entertainment to short-haul flights while opening up new revenue opportunities for airlines, according to SKIFT. Seat-embedded IFE systems, loaded with movies, shows and games, help long-haul flights go by faster. For mid-haul flights, many airlines are opting for bring your own device (BYOD) wireless entertainment systems instead, some including LiveTV, which can be enjoyed through a dedicated app. But short-haul flights haven’t been considered worth equipping, precisely because of their short duration.
The small white AirFi box, introduced by company Dutch company MI Airline’s last March, creates a private network on any aircraft it’s onboard and doesn’t require special wiring or set up. It’s powered off the plane where the content is also updated, and can be pulled from one aircraft onto another as needed. The company signed an agreement with Western Outdoor Interactive (WOI) last year which helped expand its entertainment portfolio to include 400 different magazines, newspapers, interactive games, and other entertainment and concierge services including TripAdvisor offline with the option to tailor branded and custom content, such as highlights of points of interest at destinations. Estonian Airlines has adopted this new system for its entire fleet of CRJ900 NextGen and Embraer 170 aircraft.